Thursday, December 10, 2009

upgrade, please

It all started with a dish-towel.

I brought a micro-fiber towel home from the 'mart and fell in love with it instantly as it not only cleaned my counters and glass-top stove but shined them, too. I thought, as I was admiring my handiwork of shininess, why have I not forked over the five bucks to get these towels earlier?

Then, a few days later as I was folding laundry I realized that the smell was not quite all the way out of the boy's clothes--you may know the smell that I am referring to--the smell that accompanies small boys no matter how many times you bathe them? So I remembered my dish-towel experience and knew it was time for an upgrade in laundry detergent.

BOY! If I thought I knew what happiness was before washing clothes in nice laundry soap I was surely mistaken. Every shirt, pant and sock met my nose in wonder before being folded and put away.

You may be asking, what's the big deal? I'm sure many people do not hesitate to fork over the extra dollars to get the premiums but I'm cheap, you see. Get over it.

So then I started thinking. What else can I buy? This is fun. And then I realized my biggest foe staring at me right in the face, er rather, feet. My carpet. It wasn't even two years old and already I had fantasies of replacing it. No matter how many times I vacuumed it never looked clean. Of course, I blamed it on my vacuum for sucking, or not sucking, or whatever, instead of the four children and two adults that inhabit the house. It's not our fault. It had to be the vacuum.

I started investigating. What kind of vacuum to buy? How much did I really want to spend? It turned out that vacuums can cost a lot of money. Gulp. But I'm cheap. Could I do it? I wasn't sure.

Eventually I caved, justifying the purchase to a business expense (hey, I work. . .I just don't get paid any money) and we came home with a pretty nice vacuum. Immediately we set to work vacuuming every nook and cranny we could get our hose on. And when we finished we stood back and gaped at the miracle. Our dingy crusty carpet had vanished! In its place lay a beautiful, fluffy, soft carpet that made you think of little lambs jumping through a meadow....well, you get my point. I couldn't believe it!

So, I guess the moral of this story is that sometimes it's okay to be cheap. But sometimes it's not. And also, vacuuming really makes a difference!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

pretty boy

Just another Tuesday night in the Davis house. . .

Thursday, November 12, 2009


I watch Holland and excitedly anticipate all of the milestones that she will be experiencing in the next coming months: first tooth, first meal, first step, among many others. All of these are important steps that help her blossom into maturity.

Recently, at only three months, she has discovered her gift of laughter. But even before that came the first magical smile. I remember it well. It was news to relate to her dad, grandparents and whomever else would care to listen. Before that smile it was all work and no play--diapers, feedings, and naps over and over again. But when she smiled for the first time, the work mindset diminished and transformed into service unto a fellow being.

Because I smiled back. And then I laughed.

I find it very interesting that the very first skill we all learn as human beings is the simple act of smiling. And yet, it is probably one of the most important skills we will ever have. She can't walk, talk, roll over or even eat on her own and yet she still smiles. She is a happy girl. When I have an especially down day, I count my blessings and am grateful to my little babe to remind me that a
smile can make all the difference.

Monday, November 9, 2009

the perfect day

Yesterday was just a wonderful day. I love Sundays, especially if there is a long lazy afternoon attached to it.
Brooklyn and Roman sang in their Primary Program and then we enjoyed a delicious, slowly cooked pot roast after church. Then I made cinnamon rolls and the kids helped deliver some to our neighbors. To top everything off we all played hide and go seek as a family before bedtime. (In which we learned that Roman is a very creative hider.) Even Holland played, pretending at one point to be a doll for camouflage.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Well, Halloween is over. Costumes have been worn and children worn out. Pumpkin buckets have been filled and (already!) emptied. The children's blood sugar level is to an all-time high with all the candy they've consumed in the last 24 hours.
Let the vegetables and withdrawals begin.

Monday, October 26, 2009

my ghouls

In honor of All Hallow's Eve, I have bunkered down and written a list of my ghouls for next year. It's a tradition I look forward to doing every year, as I am a ghoulish type of person.

Here is what made the list this year:

1. Climb Mt. Borah. (This one is a repeat, but I had to take a minor detour this year. And she is super cute.)

2. Read more of the classics. (This one makes me cheery.)

3. Get my garden in super-model shape. (I fill you in on the details of this one later.)

4. Run a half-marathon. (Imagine somewhat of a scared but determined look on my face.)

There you go. Bring it on, 2010.


So it turns out that the mouse we saw in the living room isn't the only pest living in our home. Our two boys, you may have heard of them--Roman and Greggs? have been known to have a bit of a scavenger side to them.

To illustrate:

Instead of an alarm clock, I know that every morning I will be woken up to the screeching sound of chairs being moved around in the kitchen. Unfortunately, it's not my dear husband making me breakfast in bed, it's my two little rascals looking for food. Normally, it's not a problem, this exploring and rummaging, I consider it a lesson in not only self-preservation but independence. But since they don't exactly have a craving for frozen broccoli or the spaghetti squash that's been sitting in my "help yourself bowl!" it's always the sweets that invariably get attacked first. And since I consider myself a decent mother that requires a desire to have my children to eat something besides chocolate cake for breakfast, this poses as a bit of a predicament.

And lately they've gotten a bit more aggressive in their hunting and gathering efforts. If there is not food in plain sight on the counters then they will climb on top of the counters to investigate in the cupboard. It's always the fantasy of finding the last chocolate chip in the cupboard that motivates this behavior. Sometimes they'll get lucky and find candy that even I didn't know we had.

This just fuels the fire as you can see.

So what to do in this situation? Well, I've learned to put food that I want them to eat directly on the counter, sometimes making it even easier for them by leaving a trail of crumbs from their bedrooms directly to the "prize". But mostly, I've learned that if I don't want my kids to eat a certain something then I just can't have it in the house. At all.

Oh yes, I've mourned for the lost dreams of having chocolate candy bowls sprinkled throughout my house, but I realize that with kids, you can't have everything.

So after only a few minutes of internal debate, the boys have it. They can stay. I'll just save the chocolate candy bowls for the grandkids.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Last evening Weston and I spotted a mouse in our living room.

What's more fun than watching Weston bound down the stairs while wacking the broom and dodging flying broom debris?

Hearing Weston scream like a little girl when the mouse suddenly changes direction.

Ah, good times.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

cleaning glee

Confession: Sometimes my children's rooms get so messy that I daren't go inside. I just shut their doors and will the mess to go away. It doesn't always work so then I prepare for a battle that usually ensues about getting it clean. It's a lot of work.

The other day I was sitting in the living room minding my own business when Brooklyn approached me and enthusiastically encouraged me to go into my bedroom. I sensed a scheme into play but I played along anyway. Upon entering my boudoir I found my bed haphazardly all made up (by the way, I 99.9% of the time make my bed, I just happened to be doing something else that day) and a grinning little girl standing right beside it. Also, upon my pillow rested a little hand-drawn red heart.

Brooklyn then told me that in church that day (oh yeah, the thing I was doing that day was getting 5 1/2 people ready for church. Sometimes Weston needs help) she learned about serving and that her assignment was to do an act of service and leave the heart sign behind to let the receiver know that he/she had just been served with love. And the best part was that she actually enjoyed making my bed. She was actually excited about cleaning just to surprise me.

That got me thinking.

Today upon returning home from school I told Brooklyn to go look on her pillow. She appeared slightly confused until she discovered a little crayon heart paper resting there.

Surrounded by a wonderfully clean bedroom.

I think she liked it. I think I like the fact that her room became spotless without
-giving up

This could be fun.

Friday, October 9, 2009

halloween fun

A video to make all your dreams come true. Or. . .maybe just for a laugh.

(Thanks Mel for the idea!)

Saturday, October 3, 2009


For his second year of life, Greggory received lots of cars, bug cupcakes made by his aunt, some clothes, a ball, and a big attitude!
Since the little tyke turned two, he's already sent me to time-out nine times and his favorite phrase has suddenly become "hate that!"

So, why is it that if he is so ornery do I still find him utterly irresistable?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

some thoughts

It seems like lately all I've been doing is the very same thing every single day. Wake up. Prayers (in which I always pray that I can have enough energy to make it through the day, oh, and that my children will not die) Get kids breakfast. Give Greggory a bath. Clean house. Exercise. Quick shower. Lunch. Possible give Greggory another bath. Storytime. Naptime (for everyone, even me). Playtime. Dinner. Scriptures. Bed. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Sometimes I think I will go crazy.

And yet, it's not all drudgery. I've learned to take as much pleasure as possible in the littlest things. For example:
a working vacuum brings a lot of joy.
Magic Erasers are reason enough to get up in the morning.
A new kind of cheese for my lunch sandwich makes me smile.
I've also learned that there is no substitute for premium laundry detergent.

I've also learned to enjoy my children for their little accomplishments as well.
Brooklyn's anxiety about riding the bus as completely subsided and that is reason enough to celebrate.
Roman's announcement about "hitting the hole" in the toilet always brings a sigh of relief.
and whenever Greggory attaches a "pwetty pwease?" to his requests makes me hug him tight.

So the grand thought here is that life is all about the little moments. The difference in the overall quality of my life is to be grateful for the little things.

And I think I have a pretty good life.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

princess play

So. . . we found Roman dressed like this sleeping in his sister's bed when we went in to tuck him the other night.
OF COURSE we had to take a picture.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

our blessing

Last Sunday Holland was given a name and a blessing. It was a beautiful prayer, offered by her father. There were many in attendance and we were so grateful to have everyone come to support us.

Holland is being held by her great-grandmother. Holland's middle name is after her.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Brooklyn: I have to tell you something, but I don't want you to get mad.

Me: You can tell me. I won't get mad.

Brooklyn: Well, my pretend Prince gave me a pretend phone--see? (she holds up the pretend phone for me to see) and sometimes I call my pretend Prince and Eunice at school. I'm sorry.

Me: Okay, well, I don't care if you call them. Maybe it would be best to just call them at home.

Brooklyn: But what if I'm at school and they try to call me?

Me: Well, you could let it go to voicemail.

Brooklyn: Okay! (Skips off happily.)

I'm so grateful for these kinds of problems.


A couple of days ago Roman climbed up to the top of the fridge, retrieved the bottle of children's vitamins and then helped himself to the "candy". Oh, he also practiced his manners and shared with Greggory.

I was in the shower. Brooklyn was at school.

After discovering Greggory with vitamin residue all over his face and shirt, I calmly called poison control thinking that I should probably disguise my voice because I've called them so many times. I watched for the appropriate symptoms--diarrhea, vomiting, etc., but thankfully there were none and we live to celebrate another hospital-free day.

However, after discovering that Roman had opened the "childproof" bottle of vitamins with a pair of scissors my joy turned to despair. Is nothing safe in the house? After all, this was his third attempt at ignorant suicide; I thought I had learned my lesson and taken all the necessary precautions to keep danger away from my son. Apparently he takes that as a challenge to find the danger himself.

Am I such a bad mother, or is my son gifted in some sick way?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

more pictures everybody!

Holland's first outing to church. Weston dressed her all by himself. I love that.

Affectionate Roman.

And one of Greggy for kicks and giggles.

and so it begins

Brooklyn (and I) survived her first day of kindergarten. Weston took her to school because she was worried about finding her classroom. She sits between two little girls but she doesn't know their names because she hasn't talked to them yet. That will come with time, I suppose. She colored a picture, played at recess and read The Kissing Hand. No homework yet. I packed her a lunch and she said that all the other children were staring at her lunch because she had pudding and they didn't. I told her that I would make cookies and she could take an extra one to give to a friend. Overall, a successful day. Oh, but she absolutely hates riding the bus. We'll work on that one.

One day down. 13 years to go.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Help! My oldest baby girl is going to her first day of kindergarten tomorrow!

I don't know if I can do this. . .

Any advice?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

little girl

The votes are in. She stays.

Monday, August 17, 2009

yellow-bellied marmots and barack obama

On Saturday, the fam and I took advantage of Yellowstone National Park's "get in free day" and so Weston and I loaded the kiddies and a picnic basket in the minivan and headed north. On the way there, we told the kids of all of the wonderful animals and mud pits that they could potentially see in the park. Well, right away The List was created of all the creatures that we needed to see in order to have a successful Yellowstone trip. Roman added, but was not limited to, a buffalo, a moose, a chipmunk (just one was fine) and a deer.

Stopping at the visitor's center at the park entrance to pick up some maps we were told that President Obama was also in the park that day and it was possible to catch a glimpse if we played our cards right. I thought, neat, hopefully we'll see some bison and the POTUS. It was like a two-fer-one deal. So President Obama was added to The List.

Soon after entering the park, we located some moose. So that one was crossed off. Chipmunks were pretty plentiful so that one was easy to check, and a little while later the kids were able to see some deer off the highway. We were doing awesome! But still no President sightings. As we were driving along, I perused the Park Journal that was given to us as we entered the park and I learned that buffalo and deer weren't the only animals to behold. I read about a small groundhog-like critter called the yellow-bellied marmot that inhabited the area. Well, of course, I had to observe such a beast with that kind of a name so that, too, was added to The List.

We stopped at the Paint Pots, the Mud Volcano and some other geysers and did our touristy-duty by heading towards Old Faithful. On the way there, we were stopped on the road and suddenly a buffalo the size of our van came sauntering down the road in the other lane. Weston rolled down the window as quick as possible to get a picture and I thought that was a good way for us to get gored but the buffalo ignored us completely and kept on walking.

Bufflalo, check.

After Old Faithful, we learned some more news about the President. We had just missed him. I was a little disappointed but I kept my hopes high for the yellow-bellied marmot. Being an optomistic person I just knew I would see one even though it was getting dark and time to head home.

Driving along, we kept looking for other animals to see. Since the kids were getting a little restless we told them to look for bears. Well, lo and behold Brooklyn suddenly pointed one out right next to the road! Could this trip get any better? Yes! A short while later, I finally spotted my yellow-bellied marmot. It was everything I expected and more. What a satisfying day! We had spotted six out of seven things on The List. Those are good numbers if you ask me. Overall, Yellowstone is definitely a worthwhile trip. . .as long as you have the right expectations.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

meet holland

Born Thursday, August 6 at 4:58 p.m.
7 lbs. 15 oz.
20 1/2 inches long

Monday, July 13, 2009


Over the weekend, Roman had the opportunity to go to Scout Camp with Weston for two nights. Here's the recap of the whole trip, told to me by Weston: Roman really liked the juice that was served there and consequently had to "water the weeds" a few times, he saw five chipmunks, didn't get to bed until at least ten both nights, and petted two snakes.

It's no wonder where that smile came from in the picture.

Monday, July 6, 2009


Independence Day this year for me meant:

-hanging out with family from all over and loving every minute of it,

-watching Brooklyn and Roman hesitantly try the water slide for the first time and gaining confidence in their new skill,

-getting Famous Square Ice Cream and laughing hysterically watching Greggory lick the cone all by himself as his feet are getting soaked with icecream rain,

-and then being astonished that he can actually finish a Famous Square Ice Cream cone all by himself.

-hiking in the mountains and finding a lizard for Roman and Greggory to try and catch,

-watching my one year old pitch a baseball to my three year old and thinking, wow, he's actually pretty good,

-watching fireworks with my family and remembering that last year Roman was so scared of the fireworks and this year he can't get enough.

-and finally, realizing how independent my children are getting and thinking that is a little bit sad. In a good way.

Monday, June 22, 2009


On this Day After Father's Day, I just wanted share my witness to the world of how fortunate I am to be married to such a great father and husband. I have a few reasons; please let me share.

1. Every time I leave the house for a meeting, shopping, etc., I ALWAYS come home to a spotless house. Sorry, ladies, I just can't relate to the "slob husband." (Except, actually, come to think of it, I do have a neater nightstand than him. Sorry, darlin'.)

2. He is the biggest fan of my cooking out of anyone I know. That is saying a lot, considering when we were first married I made a loaf of french bread and then afterwards we used it as a football.

3. He is always telling me that I don't buy enough for myself. Fortunately for us, I am rather conservative in my spending. Except when it comes to cookbooks. And plants. And children's books. But that's all.

4. He is the most obedient person I know. That is one reason why I was so attracted to him in the first place. He takes rules, regulations and commandments very seriously.

5. He lets me do whatever I want with the yard and he is actually taking the time to learn what the plants are in our yard. That is like me trying to learn actual football player's names. Very commendable.

6. When he discovers Roman in the bathroom with pee all over the walls and face, (yes, face) does he freak out? No, well, maybe a little. But he solves the problem, asks Roman how in the heck did this happen? cleans him up, tells him to aim for the toilet next time, son! while at the same time marveling silently at the extraordinary feat of his three year old boy.

7. He encourages me to reach better and higher even when I don't think it's possible.
8. He's the best listener that I've ever talked to. That is probably what makes him so great at his job.
9. He is an english major, but he's not stuffy. He is even often addled with my vocabulary at times--how waggish!

10. And finally, he's just my best friend. What more can I say? Actually, I would go on but he never reads my blog. Too bad for him.

I love you, dear!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


At times in my motherhood career I feel as though I am suspended in limbo as far as any progress in teaching my children certain life skills. For example, Roman still waits until the very last possible second to use the potty even though he has been "trained" for about a year now. He just does not seem to understand that waiting as long as he can really won't make the urge to use the restroom go away. While I try to be patient in this particular issue, I can't help but think, "When will he learn that he doesn't have to suffer like this? By simply making the choice to use the restroom earlier would make all the difference." And yet, there is no persuading this young man.

Another common issue that we've been facing is the never-ending chore of housework. I have racked my brain thinking of creative ways to teach and motivate my children the purpose and usefulness of this skill and still, even though they have to put their clean laundry away every day, there is a battle at times.

Well, today, I had a long list of things to get accomplished and I asked the children to clean the living room. Greggory had just dumped out a bowl of Kix cereal on the floor and so Brooklyn and Roman asked if they could vacuum it up. Sure, I said, why not? They had such a grand time vacuuming up the cereal (and each other's hair and tummies I noticed) and I've never heard so much giggling during vacuuming before. After cleaning the mess up I told them that if they hurried and cleaned their bedrooms, then they could each vacuum their own room as a reward! My goodness, I have never seen their rooms become clean so fast! They were each able to vacuum their bedrooms and that in turn inspired Brooklyn to make her bed and clean under all her bedroom furniture.

Then, as I was mopping, I told Brooklyn that if she sorted her and Roman's clean laundry then I would put them away. Well, not only did she sort their laundry, but she folded all the towels and sorted and folded all of my and Weston's clothes. I was shocked and showered her with praises, but I think she received more satisfaction in watching me put away her clothes as I has promised to do.

Even though I consider today's cleaning frenzy a small breakthrough in their attitudes about housework, I know it won't always be like this and I will get very frustrated at times. And yet, I can't help but wonder if God often shakes his head at me and thinks, "If she would only choose to do this, her life would be so much easier!" So, it's with that perspective in mind that gives me patience as I watch Roman doing the potty dance and Greggory dumping out all his cereal on the floor.

Monday, June 15, 2009


Brooklyn has been officially awarded the "Most Bandaged" in our family as of late. On Saturday our little town held a parade and Brooklyn was able to ride on a float as a member of her dance company. The float was a flat-bed trailer behind a truck and there probably about 35 kids on it.

When Weston went to go pick her up at the destination pick-up spot, he watched in horror as some little kid behind her suddenly shoved her off the trailer. (We found out later that it was a complete accident and the little kid was crying because he felt so bad.) She flew off and landed on her face on the pavement. There were paramedics nearby and they were able check her out briefly before instructing Weston to get her to a hospital--quick. At the QuickCare, she received three stitches on her forehead to close a big gash, but luckily that was the extent of her injuries besides a few scrapes on her nose.

Well, if that wasn't bad enough, today while attending a birthday party for one of her friends, she apparently fell down on the driveway--skinning both of her knees. So we added two more bandaids for her knees to match the one on her forehead.

The only silver lining that she can see in this whole ordeal is the recuperation on the couch watching cartoons and eating her party candy.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Brooklyn is participating in a Junior Master Gardening Program which allows her to grow her own vegetables and flowers in her own plot at the Extension Center grounds. At the end of the season, she can enter her harvest into the local and state fairs for a chance to win a blue ribbon.
Last week, while planting her geraniums, the newspaper came to interview the students and volunteers working there. I volunteer there as a Master Gardener and was excited to see the newspaper photographer take Brooklyn's picture. Brooklyn was so absorbed in her work, though, I don't think she even noticed them.

Most kids who sign up for the program are ages nine and up, so Brooklyn is the youngest by far. But her enthusiasm made up for her lack of experience. While wearing her very own gardening gloves she dug the holes for each of her plants--pumpkin, tomato, and a few flowers--planted them, and then watered them all by herself. After the transplants were in the ground, she moved onto seeds in the carrot, pea, and hollyhock varieties. When she was finished, she helped the other students by watering their plants for them.
I was a little surprised to see her work so hard in her garden, but then, even at five you can have pride in ownership. I have to say that I was very proud to be her mother.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

family vacation

Our little family took a little vacation over the weekend to good ol' Utah! We stayed with Weston's wonderful aunt Melissa and staying at her house was half the fun of the trip. She's always very hospitable even though my children think her toy poodles are actually ferocious monsters in disguise.

On Saturday we spent the day at Thanksgiving Point. We went to the Dinosaur Museum and looked at huge dinosaur bones, watched a 3-D movie with popcorn, and then actually discovered real dinosaur bones in the "Dig For Dinosaur Bones Here" area! The kids were enamored with everything at the Museum, although I think the popcorn part at the movie was their favorite.

Then we hit Farm Country, because being from Idaho we thought our kids could use some farm animal exposure, and they were even able to ride a pony! (Where can you do that in Rigby, I ask you?) I have to say the mini-goats were quite impressive.

After lunch, we strolled through the 60-some acre themed gardens. Actually, the adults strolled, Brooklyn danced, and the boys dozed, which made for a very peaceful walk. Overall, the trip was a huge succcess and well worth the three hours of "are we there yet?" getting there.